October 28, 2019
Teenage boys who have self-harmed are significantly less likely than girls to be admitted to hospital after showing up in A&E, a new study of young people in Wales suggests.Analysis of 937,697 young people, aged between 10 and 24, found boys who had harmed themselves and turned up in emergency care were much less likely to be admitted to hospital than girls, even when they had poisoned themselves.Researchers said the pattern was “a cause for concern”, but couldn’t say why there was such a disparity.Over half (58%) of those seeking emergency care for self-harm were boys and young men, according to the study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.Related... Nearly 110,000 Children Aged 14 Have Self-Harmed In One Year, Estimates Show Self-harm – where someone intentionally injures their body – often results from severe emotional distress. It’s estimated that around 10% of young people self-harm at some point.A previous survey of 8,500 secondary school pupils by Addaction found girls were twice as likely as boys to think about self-harm, and children who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual are more likely to experience such thoughts.Signs of self-harm can include cutting or burning skin, person punching or hitting themselves (or objects), biting, not allowing wounds to heal or self-poisoning with tablets or liquids. While figures show that girls are more likely to self-harm than boys, Self Harm UK, a support site run by charity Youthscape, suggests that for a lot of young men, self-harm is more hidden than it is for women, and can take different physical forms. Related... Why Do Young People Seek Out Self-Harm Images Online? Dr Marc Bush, director of evidence and policy at YoungMinds, told HuffPost UK the reasons why young people self-harm and self-injure are varied and not every situation will require a stay in hospital. “In general, we have made progress in identifying and treating self-harm in young women, and historically there has been a disparity in identifying self-harm in young men,” he said.“The results of this study show that we should be ensuring that all young people receive the best possible treatment that is right for them, be that in a hospital setting or in their community.” Of the 937,697 young people in the Wales study, 15,739 accessed healthcare services for self-harm. Researchers looked at data collected from GPs, emergency care departments and outpatient clinics, as well as hospital admissions between 2003 and 2015. Cases of self-harm were highest among 15- to 19-year-olds across all services, but the largest increases were seen among 10- to 14-year-olds, particularly girls, and from 2011 onwards. Young people from deprived areas were also found to be most at risk, with rates of self-harm more than double that of those living in affluent areas.The numbers of young people turning up in emergency care and subsequently admitted to hospital after an episode of self-harm increased during the period studied. Admissions for 10- to 14-year-olds almost doubled among boys and young men, and more than doubled among girls and young women.But the gender disparity was most evident among 10- to 15-year-olds. Three quarters (76%) of girls in this age group were admitted to hospital compared with around half of the boys (49%).As an observational study, the researchers said they could could not establish causes, but that given the large data set, based over 12 years, the results were likely to be applicable to the rest of the UK. 
Boys Who Self-Harm Less Likely To Be Admitted To Hospital – Study
Useful websites and helplines:Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@themix.org.ukRethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on www.rethink.org.Related... ‘It’s OK Not To Be OK’: Britain’s In Therapy And We’re Ready To Talk Young, Alone And Miles Away From Mum: Life In A Mental Health Unit Four Hours From Home Men Are Reaching Burnout – Is Self-Care The Solution?
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